U2’s Bono and The Edge held a surprise concert in a Kyiv subway station Sunday at the request of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
The superstars performed such U2 classics as “With or Without You” and “Angel of Harlem” along with a cover of Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me” — although they changed the lyrics to “Stand by Ukraine.”
“President Zelensky invited us to perform in Kyiv as a show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and so that’s what we’ve come to do,” the band tweeted from its official account in a message signed by Bono and The Edge — who played acoustic guitar for the makeshift subway concert.
The U2 frontmen performed on the central Kyiv subway platform as Ukraine’s transit stations have morphed into de facto bomb shelters for residents to hide from Russian attacks.
Videos on social media captured the moving event in the Eastern European country’s capital city.
Bono and The Edge were accompanied for part of the performance by the Ukrainian band Antytila, whose member Taras Topolia joined the country’s military to fight off the Russians and can be seen singing in his military fatigues.
Antytila recently collaborated with Ed Sheehan to raise money for the Ukrainian war effort.
The U2 performance comes a month after Zelensky made a special address at the Grammys urging US musicians to use their platforms and talents to “tell the truth about” the war.
“Fill the silence with your music!” Zelensky said at the time. “Fill it today to tell our story. Tell the truth about this war on your social networks, on TV. Support us in any way you can. Any — but not silence. And then peace will come.
“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos,” he added. “They sing to the wounded in hospitals. Even to those who can’t hear them. But the music will break through anyway.”
In March, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi drew eyes rolls after reading a St. Patrick’s Day poem by Irish musician Bono that declared Zelensky a modern-day version of Ireland’s patron saint.
“Ireland’s sorrow and pain is now the Ukraine, and St. Patrick’s name is now Zelensky,” the poem concluded, equating the legendary Christian missionary with the wartime leader.
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